The Well-Read Wife


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I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

Kiki Overthinks Every Thing
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Kiki Overthinks Every Thing
April 11, 2011
Oh So Blue Said the Gnu
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: Children's Books
Topic: Book Reviews
What's the Matter, Bunny Blue?What's the Matter, Bunny Blue? by Nicola Smee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A cute rhyming story about a little blue bunny rabbit who has been separated from his grandmother. He and his animal friends look high and low for her. This is a delightful "preschool" mystery with wonderful simple yet colorful illustrations. Perfect for read alouds and snuggle readings.

What's New Said the Gnu?What's New Said the Gnu? by Wendy Ecklson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Although the description on Good Reads calls the book "What's New Said the Gun?", the actual title of the book is "'What's New?' Asked the Gnu."

This is a pop-up book of "rhyming wordplay," in which a curious gnu inquires about 16 of his friends' doings. Each of their answers will surprise you and make you chuckle for they are not the typical answers. The pull tabs and pop-designs add to the chuckles. Great for reading to small groups or for what I like to call "snuggle reading" with a child. It's very entertaining. Plus, I have a soft spot for stories that feature rhyming Gnus.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 10:33 AM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
April 5, 2011
Book Teaser Tuesday
Mood:  hug me
Now Playing: Jane by April Lindner
Topic: Book Reviews




"At night, though, I would drift into dreams so vivid I felt I was actually reliving moments Nico and I had shared--his hands on my back, his smell, his taste on my tongue, his voice calling my name, his weight beside me in the bed--and I would startle awake. For minutes afterward, I refused to believe it had only been a dream."-- Jane, by April Lindner 

(I'm so silly, I closed the book before I wrote down the page. lol.)

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 1:55 PM EDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
March 29, 2011
For All The Pretty Horses & Their Riders
Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: Cowboy, Take Me Away by Kathleen Eagle
Topic: Book Reviews

Cowboy, Take Me Away (Harlequin Special Edition)Cowboy, Take Me Away by Kathleen Eagle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kathleen Eagle transforms the title of a Dixie Chicks’ song into a wonderful albeit somewhat lightweight romantic novel featuring the likeable characters of Skyler and Trace. Skyler is an older woman with a past, a late husband, debts, and a love of horses. Trace is the younger rodeo cowboy with miles of cocky swagger who catches her eye from behind the camera lens. (Skyler is freelance photographer hoping to make some extra money.) Trace and Skyler hit it off immediately. Their chemistry literally jumps off the page as much as their coy dialogue--some phrases are so ripe with double meaning you’ll giggle. Ms. Eagle certainly has a way words, and developing likeble characters. This story is all about two adults taking a chance, and going in a direction they usually avoid. It’s a fun read without as much of the middle-act heartbreak that some romance novels include. If you love a good romance novel, handsome cowboys, and ladies who take a chance on love, “Cowboy, Take Me Away” is the book for you!




Mighty Quinns: BrodyMighty Quinns: Brody by Kate Hoffmann
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Payton is a socialite on the run from her fiance and seemingly empty life in the outbreaks of Australia. Brody is an ex-footballer (Aussie rules) nursing an career ending injury at his family's herding station. Unfortunate nights for both Payton and Brody lead them to a night in the pokey, and that is where the sparks begin to fly.

Brody, desperate to get over his ex and out of his pity bag, bails Payton out of jail and brings her home with him to work the ranch. Throwing caution to wind, Payton agrees and finds joy and satisfaction doing a good day's work and falling into the muscular arms of Brody. The two lovers keep their secrets, and live only for the moment until their hearts become involved.

You'll enjoy Payton and Brody's steamy encounters, and enjoy Ms. Hoffmann's ability to transport us to Australia. Although the book gets a long-winded near the end (about 15-20 pages could have been trimmed), I stay hooked as I wondered what the future held for the heroes. I was disappointed by the inclusion of a two subplots and secondary characters, because it felt like they were shoehorned in to set the reader up for the spin-offs.

View all my reviews

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 3:45 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: March 29, 2011 11:29 PM EDT
March 12, 2011
A Sailor Went To Sea to See What he Could See, See
Mood:  mischievious
Now Playing: Children's Books
Topic: Book Reviews

This Little Piggy with CD: Lap Songs, Finger Plays, Clapping Games and Pantomime RhymesThis Little Piggy with CD: Lap Songs, Finger Plays, Clapping Games and Pantomime Rhymes by Jane Yolen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Perfect for librarians, teachers, day care workers, and parents of children under the age of three years old. The children will enjoy the pictures in the colorfully illustrated book, and enjoy the repetitive lyrics featured on the accompanying compact disc. Educators and caregivers will enjoy the squeals from their charges.

The Tushy BookThe Tushy Book by Fran Manushkin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very cute book celebrating the uses of children's tushies from babyhood to adulthood. With colorful illustrations featuring children of all colors in different scenarios, toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy relating to how they use their tushies every day. The rhyming verses make it an excellent book for story times. Beware, there are some semi-nude tushy illustrations that will have your little ones squealing and falling over in laughter.


The Three BearsThe Three Bears by Byron Barton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Byron Barton's picture books can do no wrong in my book. I've been sharing them with my children and children at the library for the last 5 years. The colors are bright, virbrant, and a joy to behold. The text is always bold, black, and easy to read. He covers subjects that all little ones like to read about over and over again--trains, planes, dinosaurs, cars, trucks, astronauts. Now, he brings his brillance to the classic tale of The Three Little Bears with great success. Definitely a wonderful introduction to the tale that can be read to children as young as 18-months to children as old as 7-year-olds. (Once your child gets to 2nd or 3rd grade, definitely introduce them to all of Paul Galdone's interpretations of the classic fairy tales and fables.)

View all my reviews

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 2:57 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
March 7, 2011
From the Sweet to the Sultry
Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo and Taming Blackhawk by Barbara McCauley
Topic: Book Reviews

Just Being AudreyJust Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo (and illustrated by Julia Denos) is an adorable children's biography of film star and human rigts activist Audrey Hepburn. In a scant 32 pages, Cardillo presents the life of Audrey Hepburn as a collection of qualities that children should strive to achieve--hard work; kindness; helping others; and self-acceptance. The illustrations are soft-colored and almost dreamlike. It is a beautiful book for every Audrey Hepburn fan (like myself) to own or a beautiful book to gift every children who ever felt as though they were too awkward (or untalented) to fit in.

View all my reviews

Taming Blackhawk (Secrets!) (Desire, 1437)Taming Blackhawk (Secrets!) by Barbara McCauley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I finished Taming Blackhawk last night, and boy was I ever pleased! It was a brisk and sensual love story featuring a modern working girl and her cowboy lover, Rand Blackhawk. The family secrets of Rand were wrapped up quickly and tidily, and gave the book a little more gravitas. I was a bit disappointed that the heroine was a virgin, and felt her life would be incomplete without a husband and a "passel" of children. However, I forgive the book for those characteristics for this is a romance novel not a post-modern feminist theory text book. (Hmmm, I suppose, as a feminist, I would say that it is okay for a woman to chose to want to have a family.)

View all my reviews

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 5:23 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
March 6, 2011
Can I Get A Q&A With Jesus?
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: A Conversatin with God by Marcia Ford
Topic: Book Reviews
It is hard to be a Christian especially if you’re new to it and you’re an adult like me. I didn’t grow up in a structured religion nor did I attend church. My classmates and friends practiced all different religions from Islam to Catholicism, and all variations of the above. I gleamed tidbits from each. I was intrigued for I liked to learn new information, but I was nonetheless confused about who was God, what did He want, and why were we here.  

As I grew into adulthood, I developed my own spirituality based on the existence of God but it also included a mixture of my very secular beliefs. Some times, the little laws I knew from the bible collided with the scientific/political laws I knew from my life on Earth. These collisions caused confusion, and I had no idea where to turn to find the right answers. Even after I was baptized ten years ago, I still found myself confused. I knew was on the right path but.... I tried reading the bible several times to completion, but I found it daunting. Heck, I found it boring but I persevered. Study bibles gave me some insightful lessons, but A Conversation with God for Women (If You Could Ask God Any Question, What Would it Be?) by Marcia Ford has really helped put God and Jesus’ laws/thoughts/concerns into perspective for me.

Using bible scriptures (with proper notations) and first person narrative as though God is speaking to you directly,  Ms. Ford provides direction to the answers of some of my difficult questions--such as “Are All Sins the Same?”; “Do You Hear Everybody’s Prayers?”; and “Is It Possible to Find Genuine Peace?” Each chapter is only 2 or 3 pages, and highly readable. I leave my copy of the book in the bathroom. Each day, I read one chapter that has the answer to the question that is most bothersome to me that day. (Lately, they’ve all seem to center around suffering and prayer.)

I can’t see what is so special about the book that makes it geared toward women because I think everyone who is walking with God has similar questions whether they be man, woman, girl or boy! I would love to give this book to my brother who is more pragmatic than me. I’m sure he would find some of the answers to his questions about God’s relationship with man/woman here. Definitely a 5 star book.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 9:19 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
February 20, 2011
Kiki's Favorite Things for February
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: Wonderful Bargain Make up Finds!
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews

Motherhood is a bitch, because it eats into all of your "me time." It gets even harder when you have a child in school, because that child has to be at school a whole hour earlier than you have to be at work. Essentially, I've been spending the last 5 months awaking a "not-a-morning-person" kindergartener while trying to get my own motor running. Once I've gotten my daughter completely ready for school, I have 20 minutes to be work ready from shower to coat. This has turned me into a grumpy and a bland-faced miss, but I've resolved this by putting on my "face" at work which isn't so bad since I now arrive at least 20 minutes earlier than needed.

I hate that I have to apply make-up at work, because I'm really the only one in the office who wears it and I feel like this little feminine ritual might dimish my credibility with my co-workers. Yet, I persist because if all it takes is a little mascara to separate them from their respect for me, then I never really had it at all. *ahem* But, I digress. 

This new desktop make-up routine has taught me to appreciate the smaller and more portable products, which I will now review.


1.E.L.F. Essentials Eyelind Primer is a miracle prodcut that costs only $1. I couple of swipes of this primer will sop up the oil on your lids and provide a smooth and mattified canvas for your favorite eyeshadow colors. The liquid to power formula does take a little longer to dry than most cream eye shadow bases, but it works for hours! I literally get no color fading after 5 hours. Just one tip, a little goes a long way. 


2. 32 Endless Eyes Studio Eye Shadow Mini Palette is a perfect purse-sized palete that includes an array of eye shadows in matte, shimmery, dark, bright or neutral colors. Even better, it was only $5!! Use with the primer and you have a banging eye look. The only downside is that the included sponge-tip brushes are incredibly cheap. Use one of your travel eyeshadow brushes or disposable eye shadow sponge-tip brushes. (Hint: the sponge-tip brushes will give you a bolder cool which I like.)



e.l.f. Studio Endless Eyes Pro Mini Eyeshadow Palee.le.l.f. Studio Endless Eyes Pro Mini Eyeshadow Palette


3. Wet n Wild's Mega Length mascara gives me nice, long, defined lashes all for $2 and it fits in the palm of my hand! Wnw beauty has certainly stepped up its game and I'm benefitting. Besides their new nail polishes, beautiful eye shadow palettes, they also have a a slew of mascaras for you to chose from depending on your lash needs. I have to get another tube to keep in my house now.


4. WnW ColorIcon Eye Shadow Palette in Cool as a Cucumber is my favorite goto green shade. (I'm a huge fan of green eyeshadow.) The included brushes also work very well. For $3, it's a steal! 

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 9:44 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
December 30, 2010
Promises, Promises
Now Playing: My 2011 New Year's Resolutions
Topic: Random Thoughts

As the year comes to an end and the second decade of the 21st century begins, I decided to come up with my 2011 list of goals. I'm going to go with the word "goals" because resolutions seems too restrictive. Goals are fluid. Cool


Find a new church/spiritual home closer to my house that is inclusive--one part Christian and one part Unitarian Univeralist.

Buy more fresh cabbage because I like eating cabbage, and I'm good at cooking it.

I want to eat better--more vegetables, less cola.

Find an indoor exercise to do Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday mornings until it gets warmer and I can start walking outside again.

To remember to take my daily multivitamin every day.

To yell less at my children.

To get my hair cut professionally more often. (I got a hair cut about 2 weeks ago, and I've been getting lots of compliments. Holla!)



Posted by Kiki Shoes at 5:22 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
December 29, 2010
Just A Few Of My Favorite Things
Topic: Random Thoughts

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 7:45 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
October 19, 2010
This ELF is Better Than the Ones That Work for Santa
Mood:  rushed
Now Playing: E.L.F. 32 Eye Shadow Palette and Eye Primer

I've been a bit on a mini-spending spree. Something about money being tight makes me want to spend more rather than less. My attitude is better get stuff now before I don't have any more money to get anything. I try not to get too silly or exorbitant with my spending, but to find something that is expensive and will bring me joy. This, ladies and gentlemen, is where E.L.F. (Eyes Lips Face) Cosmetices comes into the picture. Besides the awesomely inexpensive prices, they also have really excellent coupon codes and deals.


Here's a tip, follow their blog!If you're one of the first 25 blog registrants to post a comment to a story, you'll score a $5-off coupon. Depending on what you buy, it's almost like getting a free piece of a make-up. This is what I experienced last week when I scored this mini eye shadow palette filled with an array of 32 colors. It is only $5 although it looks even more expensive. The case sleek and black, and contains a mirror that's perfect for at your desk touch-ups. It's also very light and slim. It fits into my handbag without adding bulk.

On my bare eye, the shadow lasted about four hours before creasing since I have oily eyelids. If I had used a primer or base, I'm sure I could have eked out another couple of hours. The colors are bit darker than they appear in the palette so don't be too heavy handed. Also, ditch the eye shadow brush included and use one of your own. (I recommend Smashbox's Crease Brush #10 or E.L.F.'s All Over Eyeshadow Brush.)


I also recommend using it over their $1 primer. I did a skin test on my inner wrist and it lasted for hours, even after I washed the dishes. Imagine how it will handle the shadow. Go on, splurge yourself for a little money. If you spend $10 by October 25, you'll receive a free E.L.F. Studio 27 Piece Mini Make-up collection that contains 9 eyeshadow shades, 1 cream eyeshadow shade, 1 blush, 1 bronzer, 10 lip gloss shades, 1 brow powder, 1 eye liner pencil, 1 dual ended eyeshadow applicator and brush, 1 face brush and 1 lip brush. The hardest part of this offer is figuring out how to accumulate at least $10 worth of products since the prices are so damn low. lol. (I'm thinking about their translucent studio HD powder, $6, and another eye shadow palette for Christmas presents.)





Posted by Kiki Shoes at 12:05 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: October 19, 2010 9:15 PM EDT
October 6, 2010
Maintaining Your Status from the Great Hereafter!!
Mood:  mischievious
Now Playing: Otrib, an online funeral planning/memorial site
Topic: Random Thoughts

Now folks, I've heard of everything. But when BzzAgent sent me an introduction to try out the new Facebook app, Otrib, my jaw hit the ground. It was too surreal for me not to sign up. Besides allowing you to honor a loved one's life and help plan and manage your final arrangements on the internet and off, Otrib will help you create a "virtual will." In other words, name someone the executor of Twitter, Facebook, blog and other online presences when you die. They will be responsible for closing or continuing the account.


In my honest opinion, when I die, my Facebook account will not be "carrying on" without me. However, who will remember to closeout my accuont in the middle of mourning me? Although the application requires too much access to my Facebook account for my maintaining my privacy levels, I do see how it could be a good service. If you take a look at it or sign up, please tell me what you think.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 4:16 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
September 7, 2010
The Big Fall Round Up

The best part of my 4-day Labor Day weekend, besides not having to work, was catching up on all my September 2010 fashion magazines. Whew, I swear each year those issues get bigger and heavier! (I still have the September issue of Harper's Bazaar to get through, and I've already received the October issue of Lucky!!!) Well, what's bad for me is good for you. I've complied a list of fall fashion trends to look out for and how to achieve them on the cheap. You can achieve these looks by shopping at the following eRetailers: Old Navy; Fashion Bug; Payless Shoe Source; and Target. Are you excited yet? I know I am. Shall we begin?

5 Fall Fashion Trends

1. Mad Men Era Retro/feminine shapes: Think nipped in waists, full skirts, and defined shoulders. It's Dior's New Look for the 2010s, like Target's take on it with this nifty shirt dress. It comes in red and black, and is less than $40.


2. Menswear : This trend has been hanging tough for the past couple of seasons. Think feminizing Mad Men's anti-hero Don Draper's look--pointed toe oxfords; wide length trousers; form fitting pants suits; and over sized watches. Your fashion icons should be up and coming crooner Janelle Monae and Katherine Hepburn.


(Piece together these two matching separates from Old Navy for an inexpensive suit. The darting on the blazer will give you the feminine look you want in your menswear.)

3. Animal prints: Mainly leopard in its traditional brown/camel colored family. If you're feeling daring, try a neon leopard print like this wallet from Fashion Bug.


 4. Gray: To hell with the washed out, heathered looks of your gym sweats. These grays are dark enough to replace your black staples, but bright enough to give your wardrobe a lift. Soft pale grays will give your white blouses a break, and allow your jewel tone accessories to pop! (Check out Target's Dolce Vita studded oxford in gray, and those shoes are three trends in one! Me likey!)

5. Studs/ornamentation: Everything from shirts to purses seem to have a hint of metal ornamentation. However, you will not be channeling Sid & Nancy's punk rock days. These studs a flatter and faceted.

6. Chunky knits: Nothing screams fall like wrapping yourself in a big warm knit sweater. This year, they will be coming in all shapes and sizes. Replace your trusty blazers and suit jackets with hip length chunky cardigan for a twist on your career wear. Also think about rocking a sweater dress with your knee-high boots and a sexy waist-cinching belt.

Sweater Links:

Old Navy

Fashion Bug


Posted by Kiki Shoes at 5:02 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: September 16, 2010 6:20 PM EDT
August 22, 2010
I Created a Fall Clothing Database
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: How I Spent My Vacation
Topic: Random Thoughts

My Fall Clothing Wardrobe.


Look who figured out how to use Excel! 




Posted by Kiki Shoes at 7:59 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: August 22, 2010 8:17 PM EDT
August 12, 2010
My Philosophy? Treat Others Like You Want to Be Treated
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: Philosophy Skincare Giveaway at The Fashionable Housewife
Topic: Contests


Dear Followers,

As most of you know, I love entering contests; answering surveys; and giving reviews. Basically, anything where I can get something for free! Most of the time, I'm entering for products I don't know much about or have not previously used. Not this time. One of my fav blogs, The Fashionable Housewife, is having a Philosophy Skin Care QVC Giveaway worth approximately $80.

I have been a fan of Philosophy for at least a decade. They made one of the moisturizing lip balms I ever used, and they have deliciously scented body washes. (I was a fun of the gingerbread body wash.) I am also a huge of QVC. I watch it with the same regularity that people watch the news. (*SMH* I know, I know.) With that said, it would really please me to win this giveaway. If not me, than you. (I only say that half-heartedly because I REALLY WANT TO WIN. LOL.)


As part of The Fashionable Housewife's Philosophy celebration, they are giving away the Philosophy Eternal Grace spray fragrance & shower gel duo ($45) and Philosophy Your Best Skin 3pc skincare classics collection ($35).  So why don't you head on over and enter at:

Good luck!



Posted by Kiki Shoes at 8:22 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
August 7, 2010
Pleasantly Warm Face of the Day
Mood:  down
Now Playing: face of the day featuring Nicka K Diamond Duo Eyeshadow
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews

This morning I had some extra time, so I decided to do a full face of make-up. In retrospect, I think I should have gone with my CoverGirl Queen Collection Bronzer in Ebony instead of the CoverGirl Simply Ageless Cream Blush in Berry. I should really, really, really find a spot in my house where I can work in direct natural light. Actually, there is a great place but it is also a very inconvenient space--my living room. If I ever buy a roll top desk that I could transform into a vanity, it might work because I can hide my make-up works when I'm not using them. But, I digress.

Below is the full face.  How do you like the vibrant golden yellow eye courtesy of Nicka D and N.Y.C. color?


1. I dusted my eyelid with E.L.F.'s Studio line translucent powder; 2. I dotted on a very thin layer of Ultima II base; and, then, 3. applied the yellow (the highlight side) from N.Y.C. Color's latest eyeshadow duo Upper Zest Side from brow to lid. (The yellow is much more vibrant when you dampened the brush, which I did. I used a tapered eye shadow brush to stipple on the color.

Finally, from crease to lid, I applied Nicka K Duo Eyeshadow in Toasted Almond. I swiped across both sides for a sunshine golden color. This picture came out dark, so it's not doing the vibrancy of the colors justice.




On my lips, I'm wearing CoverGirl ShineBlast in 880 underneath Black Radiance Liquid Lip Color in Coral Kiss. I used CoverGirl for moisturizer, because it really isn't highly pigmented. I used a light swipe of Black Radiance. Their coral is more pink than orange. It's a subtle hint of color. (I suggested using Black Radiance or any brand geared towards African-Americans or Latinos because you'll always get more color vibrancy.)

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 12:02 PM EDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Updated: August 7, 2010 6:00 PM EDT

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